Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef show denies violating agreement with CBC

Ahram Online , Saturday 2 Nov 2013

The production team of Egyptian satirist and comedian Bassem Youssef's show deny accusations made by the program's host channel CBC, say they are working to get 'El-Bernameg' back on air

Bassem Youssef
Bassem Youssef (Photo: Al-Bernamg tv show snapshot)

The Bassem Youssef show team released a statement on Saturday denying the program's host channel CBC's claims that  "El-Bernameg" (The Program) was suspended due to violations of the show's contract.

The statement described the decision to suspend the program as "sudden," adding that the show's team and production company were not notified in advance. El-Bernameg producers only found out that CBC had decided to suspend the show when it was announced live on Friday.

The production company of Youssef's show insisted it had abided by all agreements with the host channel, refuting the channel's earlier claims that the episodes has not been submitted on time.

The show's production company stressed its committment to all contracts with CBC by refraining from revealing the internal details of El-Bernameg's suspension. The team assured CBC that it would not be making "statements in the heat of the moment that would harm the company's position."

The production team also refuted reports that they have been in negotiations to strike a new agreement with other channels to host the program, reiterating its intentions to respect to the current contract with CBC.

"The show's team and its production company apologize to the audience for this situation, which resulted in delays in the screening of season 3, episode 2 of El-Bernameg. The episode was delivered to CBC on time, and its content did not violate the tenets of professionalism or the law."

"The company will work on containing the situation in a professional manner, and would like to assure the audience that it will announce all details related to this issue in the shortest time possible."

After an almost three-month hiatus, Youssef's show returned to television only last week. El-Bernameg was suspended by host channel CBC minutes before the 2nd episode of season 3 was due to screen on Friday.

The channel announced in a statement read by TV anchor Khairy Ramadan that it had decided to suspend the show after review of the episode revealed that Youssef and the production company had violated CBC's "editorial policies." Ramadan said that the channel had decided to suspend the show until editorial and commercial disputes with the show were resolved.

This is not the first time CBC has suspended Youssef's show. In 2012, the channel suspended the 2nd episode of El-Bernameg's first season, in which Youssef made fun of both famous CBC presenters as well as then-president Mohamed Morsi. Youssef later broadcasted the episode on YouTube.

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